Sean Scully

8. 1 . 96, 1996

Dublin, 1945

The abstraction is the spiritual art of our times


Born in 1945 in Dublin, Sean Scully moves to London four years later. At just 15 years old, he joined a printing press as an apprentice, where he learned to work with light and shadow through form and pressure, and two years later he began to train as an artist at the Central School of Art. In 1965 In the same year that his son Paul was born, he decided to focus on art by training at the Croydon College of Art, which he would continue at the University of Newcastle. In the following years, he recieved various scholarships from the United States, such as the Frank Knox from Harvard University, the Harkness scholarship or the Guggenheim scholarship, something that will motivate him to move to live and work there.

His paintings begin with an interest in figuration, something he quickly abandons when he discovers abstract expressionism. He will often use frames and squares, influenced by Pop Art and the knowledge of textiles in Morocco thanks to the trip he made in 1969. Sully proposes a universe of horizontal and vertical lines that delimit color surfaces, generating chromatic cadences that transcend the work as physical object entering the realm of spirituality. But the knowledge of minimalism will simplify his works, as well as his tones. The decade of the 80 begins to move him away from his previous stage. It is this geometric abstraction that will remain in his work until today.

The relationship that the artist maintains with Barcelona, where he spends long periods of time, stands out, something that allows him to experiment with techniques such as fresco mural painting or stained glass, thanks to the intervention project he carried out in the Romanesque church of Santa Cecilia de Montserrat.

His work has been exhibited all over the world, but his first solo exhibition stands out, in 1973, at London’s Rowan Gallery, because all of his work was sold. He has exhibited too at MoMA, Fundació Joan Miró, MACRO, CAFA Art Museum and Whitechapel Gallery. His work is present in more of 150 museums and public collections.